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Outdoor Development Training

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1.1 Main research interest and rationale

Springett (quoted in Everard, 1991) concluded that ÐŽ®development training, as its proponents claim, has an important part to play in the building of a positive and effective workforceЎЇ. Actually, the ÐŽ®academic researchЎЇ literature of outdoor development emerged by Springett who had carried out his review.

Outdoor development is presented as a suitable method for developing some team and individual skills. However, given the lack of supporting evidence outdoor development ÐŽ®should not be seen as a panacea to every people-oriented training needЎЇ (Ibbetson & Newell, 1996) but rather a ÐŽ®tool in the trainerЎЇs toolboxЎЇ (Tuson, 1994). With this in mind, the current theories supporting the use of outdoor development will now be outlined.

As a training method, why the outdoor development training is so useful? The reasons are highlighted that distinguish is from other conventional training areas: real experience, different environment, ÐŽ®safeЎЇ experimentation, trust, impact, fun and motivation (Tuson, 1994).

1.2 The Training Background

Since late 1978 the China has begun moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented systemЈ¬ which has made the economy blooming and enterprises had a steady increase. The authorities have switched to a system of household responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. (

One forth centuries passed from ÐŽ®Opening ReformЎЇ of China in 1978 up to today. Chinese torchbearers planned ÐŽoGDP increase by four times in twenty yearsÐŽ± at that time, but no one believed it can be achievement. Today, the GDP of China has developed from 500 billion RMBs of 1978 to 10,000 billions RMBs of 2002, which eight and half times than that in 1978, and keeping 9.3% of the annual increasing speed in this 25 years. The economic power of new China today is four times than that of old China two decades years ago.


Whereas, China still faces big difficulties and risks: some situations which reflect from important economic index conflict to the healthy trend of its increasing economy. That means there are serious challenges hiding behind the superficially rapid economic development. Specially, in the last five years, unemployed circumstance turned worse when it started the plan to switch state-owned company to joint ventures or semi-private own limit company. Another remarkable change of China in this period is the economic transference from traditional agriculture and manufacturing industry to high technology and service-based industry. All these changes need the labour force to learn new knowledge and skills so to improve the individual competence in the competition.

Results influenced by above phenomenon root in two greatest reasons: the system environment problem and the labor diathesis character problem. Although the system has already been changed to fit for the current environment, the lower labor diathesis problem still to great extent block the achievement of new reform, which can be only resolved by education and training.


After ChinaЎЇ entry of WTO, Chinese bravely accepted some new concepts from western developed countries. Most people understand that living and development have become the two most important problems they need to face. For some enterprises, improving education level and learning skills are two key aspects needed to solve immediately. According to these reasons, training has become a necessary method to deal with these problems effectively at a relatively short time. Enterprise leaders can design or choose different types of trainings to meet their different working needs.

1.3 The Research Objectives

The objectives of this paper are to compare the outdoor development training with indoor training programme, and evaluate their relationships with the learning process in Chinese organization. The main part of the dissertation will focus on the Chinese environment because of the recent significant economic and social changes from 1990s and the great influences made by them.

In this changing process, the Chinese companies are more likely to accept the advanced organizational and personnel management knowledge and skills from their foreign alliances and partners to improve their own competitions in both domestic and global markets. Therefore, in spite of analyzing the feasibility and values of ODT in those Chinese organizations, some successful international cases are also introduced to compare the pros and cons of outdoor and indoor training and even different outdoor training methods in different cultural background.

1.4 The Structure of The Research

There are six chapters in this dissertation:

Chapter 1 is the Introduction. It includes mean research interests and rational; the training background which introduce the situation of Chinese economy and society; the research objectives explain two training methods, ODT and IBT, and try to find a suitable way to the Chinese training; and this structure part.

Chapter 2 is the Literature Review. The main parts of this chapter are: training overview- it includes the definition of training and training value; outdoor development training- analyzing theoretically the objectives and main structures of the outdoor development training; learning process and indoor-based training- introducing the basic theory of indoor training and comparing indoor training with outdoor training.

Chapter 3 is the Methodology, which describe some research methods I used to do the data collection. I choose interview as my main survey method to collect primary data, and questionnaire is just a method I use to understand employeesЎЇ thinking and feeling, which is subordinate in this dissertation.

Chapter 4 is Data Analysis and Findings. In this aspect, linking research data, theory with practice to analysis the advantages and disadvantages in either



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